Mississippi Museum of Art presents 'Thank You Please Come Again' featuring photographs by Kate Medley

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Mississippi Museum of Art presents 'Thank You Please Come Again' featuring photographs by Kate Medley
The Gizzards and Livers Store in Wilson, North Carolina (2018). Photo: Kate Medley.

JACKSON, MS.- The Mississippi Museum of Art is presenting the exhibition Thank You Please Come Again featuring work by Mississippi’s own renowned photojournalist Kate Medley. On view from April 6 to June 23, 2024, in MMA’s Trustmark Grand Hall, Medley’s first solo museum exhibition features 22 photographic prints recording her ten-year journey through the heart of the American South. The images capture service stations, convenience stores, and quick stops, which serve as vital community hubs and gathering places. While Medley’s travels often included stops for tamales, fried fish, and banh mi, as well as gas, the true essence of her work lies in the profound stories and individuals she encountered.

The exhibition coincides with the publication of “Thank You Please Come Again: How Gas Stations Feed & Fuel the American South” (The Bitter Southerner, 2023), which documents Medley’s experiences during many road trips through eleven states. The book’s nearly 200 images are accompanied by essays by Medley and author Kiese Laymon, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Rice University.

"In my travels across the South, I see gas stations as signposts in a strange land," explained Medley. "They tell me, who lives here? What do they do for work? What do they eat? What do they believe? What is the pace of the day? What is important in their America? Their South?"

A testament to the power of visual storytelling, the presentation reveals a range of responses to Medley’s questions through captivating imagery of signage and vernacular architecture; culinary offerings and provisions; and those who frequent and work in these distinctively Southern places.

The related publication will be available for sale in The Museum store and online.

On May 16, 2024, MMA will host its annual Food Truck Festival, which includes over 15 local food trucks and vendors, free art activities, face painting, and more.

This exhibition is free and open to the public.

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